The Friars Golf Club

Member Profile: Arthur Porcelli Jr.

Advisor, principal | First Command Financial Planning

The concept of conducting business while playing golf is timeless. Numerous studies have shown that playing golf allows executives to foster stronger business relationships. In this series profiling members of the The Friars Golf Club — founded by Tom Dwyer in 1994 with the idea that "golf is mostly about with whom you play" — each profilee shares not only a glimpse of their personal side, but perspectives and experiences that have helped shaped them professionally.

Name: Arthur Porcelli Jr.
Title | company: Advisor, principal at First Command Financial Planning.
Resides: Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.
The Friars Golf Club member since ... : 2018.

Arthur Porcelli Jr., second from right, at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

What one app is a must have on your phone? Email, Google, Waze, ext. I actually use my phone as a phone.
Favorite golf course architect? Pete Dye.
Favorite major? Masters and the "fifth" major, The Players Championship. I live at TPC Sawgrass.
Favorite 19th hole food / beverage? Guiness ... "tap only." Hot dog (with all the fixings). If outside, an 18-year single malt scotch (Macallan) and a Cuban cigar (Cohiba).
What courses or destinations are on your current golf bucket list? Any course the Friars are going to. Have had the opportunity to play at amazing courses all over the world. The next Friars trip to Vietnam, Australia and New Zealand look very intriguing.

I love the [TPC Sawgrass] Stadium Course, as well as Pebble, and of course all the courses in the Dominican Republic, Ireland and Scotland.

How did you get started in your current industry?
APJ: I was a client for years and when asked what I was going to do when I grew up — age 46 after 30 years in the Navy, I had no clue. The district advisor who had overheard my appointment with a young new advisor told me he thought I would be good candidate to become a financial advisor. Sounded easy so I started the process. A year later, I retired from the Navy, became licensed and I started my second career as a financial advisor helping active duty military members reach their financial goals. Twenty years later I love seeing my clients' success coming to fruition.

What do you find most rewarding about your job?
APJ: Knowing that years from now my clients and their families will know that, based on my advice and helping them maintain the discipline required, that they will reach all of their financial goals. Also knowing that if life gets in the way, their families will be secure. It's the same feeling I had while on active duty. Your team gets promoted and assume greater positions of responsibility. Bottom line is knowing you are taking care of your people.

What advice would you pass along to someone starting a career or is presently in your field?
APJ: Take your fiduciary responsibility seriously. Be prepared to work hard, especially when starting out and provide excellent service. The payoff is both financially and spiritually satisfying. You know when you have been successful when your clients ask you to help their friends.

Listen. Listen. Listen. When clients open up to you and answer questions that normally they would not share with a stranger, you know you have gained their trust. That trust is sacred. Treat it accordingly. I express to clients, when this occurs it's like going to confession.

What role has golf played in your professional career?
APJ: I have helped numerous folks while playing golf who never become clients. I love to just show up as a single and join a group, and just talk about benefits with questions during the round. Some have become clients and others just know more about the benefits they have earned.

In your current field of business, what is the most interesting trend you see or expect to see in the near future? And how is it impacting or might impact the industry?
APJ: There are so many do-it-yourself ways to plan for retirement. Statistically, most folks are not successful using these tools because of irrational behavior. Because of this, lots of folks won't be successful. I believe in comprehensive financial planning. Cash, wealth and risk management.

All three legs need to be addressed at the same time. No point in investing while having high-interest debt. What happens if something bad happens to the primary earner? Problem is folks like to invest and ignore the rest. Only folks with lots of money get the best advice from professional advisors. We need to teach basic investment and planning pricipiles as early as possible. That's what First Command Advisors do for folks who don't necessarily have large salaries or lots of money.

Currently, which book are you reading or podcast are you listening to?
APJ: Don't do podcasts. Most recent book, "The Good Soldiers," by Pulitzer Prize-winning author David Finkel. It's a true story about Lt. Colonel Ralph Kauzlarich. Every American should read this book to understand what our troops went through in Iraq during the surge. Ralph is a good friend and currently a district advisor with First Command. I mostly read magazines about my profession — Forbes, Fortune, National Review and Barrons.

What is your most memorable moment on a golf course?
APJ: Making a par on No. 18 at Pebble Beach from the bunker along the water. Still waiting for my first hole-in-one. I love playing with my son and grandson as well.